DC Comics New 52 Reboot: A Nerds-Eye View - Week 4

A week late is better than never, right? This is the last week of the New 52 #1's (for the other three, check out here, here, and here), and I couldn't in good conscience skip it. So, here we go...

All-Star Western

This issue - Fans of Jonah Hex rejoice! Yes, all eight of you were happy with this issue, as Jonah Hex is back; but this time in Gotham. However, it is not today’s Gotham; it is Gotham in the 1880’s. The Gotham Butcher is killing people all over town, and writing on the walls in blood. They call in a doctor for help on the case. Dr Amadeus Arkham. This takes place pre-Arkham Asylum (which he founded), so he is not that well known, but still respected. They team-up to try and find the killer. Hilarity ensues.

How it differs - Jonah is no longer in the West, he is in Gotham. Which I always think of as replacing Chicago. Who knows, maybe Gotham is in the West? Also, as far as I know, he and Amadeus never met before.

Will I read issue #2? - I was never really a fan of Jonah Hex (except for the movie - hilariously bad). Palmiotti and Gray are great writers, but western books aren’t really for me. However, the art by Moritat is spectacular. It has a big Tony Moore feel, and I really like it. I don’t know if that will be enough to get me to come back next month. Maybe?

Aquaman

This issue - Finally. Aquaman is back! And....nobody likes him? He is treated like a joke for helping (they ask if he needs a glass of water, the cops say they will never live it down, etc). It comes to a head when a blogger (they’re the worst, right?) asks him how it feels to be no one’s favorite superhero. Aquaman graphically eviscerates the guy, and wears his skin as a suit. That’s what happens in my rewrite anyway. He talks with Mera, and decides to no longer be King of Atlantis, but stay on land in the lighthouse, which was his childhood home.

How it differs - Aquaman has been alive since Brightest Day. Not much has changed since then. People are much more awful to Aquaman than before, though. Is that a difference? Oh, also, Aquaman is AWESOME and doesn’t take $#!T from anybody.

Will I read issue #2? - Lets look at the past collaborations of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, shall we? Green Lantern. Blackest Night. Brightest Day. All great books. How can you not get the new book from these two? This was absolutely one of the top five books of the re-launch, and I will read anything by either of these two, for sure.

Batman The Dark Knight

This issue – I was going to write the synopsis of this issue, but I realized I had basically written it before; last week’s Batman issue. Bruce doing presentation. Arkham breakout. Batman goes to stop it. The weird thing is it is not the same meeting, or the same breakout. Seriously, how many breakouts do they have a month? How much is insurance on this building? Is my tax money paying for all of this? Wait, this is just a comic book, so never mind… Straight forward issue, with a familiar face (faces?) coming into the picture. Does it remind anyone else of the final boss of Arkham Asylum?

How it differs – Again, the same thing can be said about this as last week’s Batman. Bruce is back to being the one-and-only Batman. Not a whole lot has changed other than that

Will I read issue #2? – This issue was okay, but I have to say, I have a problem with Finch’s art. There are artists that I am willing to wait for (McNiven, Quitely, Williams III, etc), and artists that I’m not. Finch doesn’t hit the right spot for me. His Batman looks fantastic, but his regular human faces look like lumps of meat on a body. I think this is one of the books you have to read to keep up with the universe, so I probably will read next month. Hope Finch doesn’t stay on as artist, though.

Blackhawks

This issue – The Blackhawks are a covert ops team. I’m not going to go into the story, because not a lot happens. Explosions, fighting, an agent with a death wish, who is having a secret relationship with another agent. All it was missing was a scene where the whole team was walking away from a giant explosion, to be optioned by Michael Bay on the spot.

How it differs – Blackhawks has actually been around since the 1950’s. They have gone through several revamps, but this new team doesn’t have anything to do with those other incarnations. There is a brand new Lady Blackhawk in this, but other than that, I think the rest of the team is all-new people, all-new identities.

Will I read issue #2 – Mike Costa has been writing the much loved GI Joe: Cobra, which I haven’t read, but I would like to. This issue was well written and the art by Graham Nolan was pretty good…but I just don’t care. This is the same thing with the war book from the first week (here). I am not into these war books, or covert ops books, or any of that. They just don’t grab me for whatever reason. I don’t think I am going to be picking number two up.

Green Lantern – New Guardians

This issue – This is the third Green Lantern-centric book of the re-launch, with everyone’sfavorite Green Lantern! No, not Hal…or Guy…or John...Kilowog isn’t even a mainone! No, it’s Kyle Rayner! We see how he got the ring in the past, and then we flash forwardto present day. We have one page each of a Yellow Lantern, Red Lantern, and StarSapphire Corps member losing their ring, and having it sent to Sector 2814 (which isEarth). On Earth, Kyle is fixing a collapsing crane, when a Blue Lantern ring showsup to Kyle, saying he was “chosen”. Then a Red Ring shows up, then Yellow, Indigo,Orange, and Violet rings. Before Kyle begins to comprehend, four Lanterns (Red,Yellow, Indigo, and Violet) appear, ready to fight.

How it differs – Not much has changed, as with all of the other Green Lantern books.Kyle is now apparently going to be the leader of the New Guardians, but that has nothingto do with Flashpoint, or the reboot.


Will I read issue #2? – Kyle Rayner is not my favorite Green Lantern, but I still enjoyreading books in the GL universe, especially all the other Corps. Tony Bedard and TylerKirkham worked together on Green Lantern Corps before the re-launch, and they dida really solid run. I really enjoyed their run, and I will definitely be reading this in thefuture.

I, Vampire

This issue – I, Vampire starts out with a homie straight up murdering fools. However, the fools in this case are vampires. And the homie turns out later to be a werewolf, or something… It flashes back and forth between current, and a conversation that took place the day before, apparently. Wolfman (in my head, the “man” in that isn’t pronounced like “Superman”, but like Marv Wolfman) is talking to Vampirelady (pronounced like malady…I’m making these up because I can’t be bothered to look up their names, by the way) about whether to take over the world. Wolfman falls asleep, and when he wakens, he finds Vampirelady gone, and the town full of vampires…

How it differs – I, Vampire was originally a 24 issue series, as a back-up in House of Mystery from 1981 to 1983. Since then, it hasn’t really been around much. I don’t really consider this a Flashpoint reboot, but more of a normal reboot. I also don’t think this is in the same universe, or at least it doesn’t seem like it yet. Maybe it’s in the future, or the past…who knows. Geoff Johns does, probably.

Will I read issue #2? – Joshua Hale Fialkov has mostly written for Image and Top Cow, and I don’t think I have ever read anything from him. He wrote a pretty good book, for the most part, but what is more mentionable is the art. Andrea Sorrentino might be an alias for Jae Lee. Instead of backgrounds, he uses these ethereal colors that make the whole book seems otherworldly, and foggy. It doesn’t look quite as good as Jae Lee (what does?), but it is very good. I will probably pick up next issue, if only for the art alone.

Justice League Dark

This issue – The Enchantress is causing all kinds of trouble across the world. 38 clonesof June Moone show up at once, cows give birth to mechanical meat-slicers, and apower station becomes gains consciousness, and gets so bored, it threatens to explode.Normal, everyday things. Madame Xanadu sees the future, and begins to put in motionthe bringing together of a team to stop her, when Cyborg, WONDER WOMAN, andSUPERMAN are defeated by Enchantress. The team consists of John Constantine,Shade the Changing Man, Deadman, Zatanna, and Mindwarp. This is the definitive B-and-below- level characters coming together in one book.

How it differs – There are so many people in this book I couldn’t begin to coverthem all. Deadman seems the same, Madame Xanadu, Shade the Changing Man, andConstantine were Vertigo characters before this, and Mindwarp is an all-new character.Zatanna, however, seems the most different. Batman says he is going to help her, andshe ties him up, and says he will die if he goes to fight. Batman then says that she is notstable enough to beat Enchantress. Does that mean her magic is out of whack, or that sheis a complete nutbar whackadoo? Either way would be interesting.

Will I read issue #2? – If you told me a year or two ago that I would be reading a bookwith all of those characters mentioned above, I would have said “Who?” Now, after theepic Zatanna run that just ended, and Deadman being in Brightest Day, I am on-board. Ienjoy Milligan’s books for the most part, and Mikel Janin werd eht tihs out of this book(as Zatanna would say). I am so on board for this book for the foreseeable future. TheRyan Sook cover doesn’t hurt, either.

The Savage Hawkman

This issue – Carter Hall is fed up with being Hawkman. Which is a reflection of how thereading public is fed up with Hawkman’s continuity in general. He tries to get free of thesuit, by burning it, but it explodes, and becomes part of him. Like Iron Man’s Extremissuit, Carter’s Hawkman comes out of his skin when he gets attacked later. Which doesn’t help Hawkman continuity at all. An alien spacecraft is found, and Carteris called in to translate the writings. An alien goop comes out, and takes over one of thescientists, so Carter/Hawkman jumps in. A fight ensues, and the last page doesn’t lookgreat for Carter….but we all know it will be, right?

How it differs – Where to begin… At the end of Brightest Day, Carter is revived again, after him and Shiera (Hawkgirl) were turned into the Air Elementals to defeat the Dark Avatar. And this is just the part that I have read, and understand. Thanagar, Egypt, all kinds of past continuities, all erased, maybe? Too soon to tell.

Will I read issue #2? - If, when you told me about Justice League Dark a year ago, and you also told me I would enjoy a Tony Daniel written, Phillip Tan drawn, Hawkman book, you would be double crazy. The Tan brothers have not had the best track record (remember Batman & Robin #4, after Quitely?....*shudder*), but this looked great. Or maybe my expectations were so low, that since it didn’t look like my issue was dropped in a mud puddle and stomped on, that I thought it was good. What was I saying? Oh, yeah, must-read for next month.

Superman

This issue – The issue starts with the demolition of the old Daily Planet building, and the unveiling of the new Daily Planet. Lois is promoted, and basically takes Perry White’s job. While they are celebrating the opening, over at the brand-new stadium (Metropolis sure spend a lot of money on buildings that are going to be wrecked by Superman and his enemies…), a fire starts. It turns out to be an alien resembling the Human Torch, but only an evil alien. And in the DC universe. And alive. Anyway, Superman is trying to stop some thugs from stealing a gas truck, when the fire monster hits it with fire, and it explodes. The rest of the issue is Superman fighting the Fire Monster (who, at one point, says “Krypton”), with narration in the form of Lois’s news coverage. The ending reveals where Clark and Lois’s relationship is now: depressingly far into the friend zone.

How it differs – First, Superman is lo longer taking a walking tour of the US. Second, Lois and Clark are no longer married, or even dating, which leads into Lois not knowing that Clark Kent is Superman (SPOILER ALERT). But here’s my biggest problem; The Superman in Actions Comics, and the Superman in this book (and every other appearance he has made), are very different stories. In Action, he is feared, and Lex is brought in to stop him (which I thought was great). All the other books though, show Superman as the hero he has always been. Is Action (and Justice League, now that I think about it) set in the past, when Metropolis was still afraid of him? That is the only part that bugs me.

Will I read issue #2? – Superman isn’t as compelling a character to me as he should be. He can do everything, and unless his enemy knows his weakness (Spoiler Alert: Donuts), he can’t be hurt that badly. So I was shocked when I got done with this issue, and loved it. The art by Perez and Merino was fantastic, and the story was really well paced. The other thing I am surprised about, is how affected I was by the relationship between Lois and Clark. When he went to see her, and she had another guy in her apartment, I wanted to bury my head in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, and cry myself to dead. Alright, it wasn’t that bad, but I did feel really bad for Clark. I would read this book only to see that whole relationship play out.

Teen Titans

This issue – Kid Flash is the worst. He runs into a burning house, which the fire department almost has put out, to save a trapped firefighter. When he runs in, it creates a huge back draft, causing the house to explode, and killing the firefighter. This does not make it easier on any of the younger heroes out there. Including Tim Drake, who we all know is Red Robin. After would-be kidnappers show up in his apartment, he escapes by blowing the whole thing up. A total Batman move if I have ever seen one. He then sets out to recruit other people into his group, the first being Wonder Girl. At the end of the issue, we see the tie-in to Superboy from a week or so ago, and now know who that guy is.

How it Differs – Tim Drake was Red Robin before, but now he has a new suit. It has collapsible wings, like Darkhawk’s, but cool (Sorry Darkhawk fan, didn’t mean to offend you, and only you). Kid Flash was never that big of an idiot, as far as I know. He is supposed to be pretty smart, since he beat Brainiac with his brain. That’s kind of BRAINIAC’S thing, right?

Will I read issue #2? – I never read Red Robin before, but I have always liked Tim Drake. I guess he might have “middle-child” issues now, so that’s interesting. The art by Brett Booth is pretty solid, although it has that 90’s Jim-Lee-inspired feel that I don’t really care for. Lobdell has written two (out of three) good books, and this seems to tie in heavily to one of his other books, Superboy. I am interested to see where this story goes.

The Flash

This issue – FLASH!! AAAAHHH!! Savior Of The Universe!!! What do you mean that song’s for Flash Gordon? It still fits. Barry is on a date with Patty at a museum, when suddenly, break-in. The Flash oddly shows up, and keeps them from stealing the portable genome re-coder. When the mask is taken off of the henchman that was unfortunately killed in the fight, it turns out to be Manuel, one of Barry Allen’s old friends. Barry is put on the case, but while he is supposed to be investigating who the group was, and if The Flash was liable for the death, in his free time he is figuring out why Manuel was with them. He is working at home, when suddenly, Manuel. Turns out he wasn’t dead after all OR IS HE!!! If you read the issue you know what happens at the end. It didn’t have a record scratch sound effect, or someone pop-in from off-panel and say “SAY WHAAT!?!?” on that last page, but I did it for myself.

How it differs – Barry and Iris are not together, rather he and Patty were on a date. The suit is different, also. Before, it fit in the Flash Ring he wore, and it was all one piece of fabric. Now, when the ring opens, it is a bunch of panel-looking pieces that fly out, and come together to make the suit. It still is fabric, apparently, but it comes together, somehow?

Will I read issue #2? – Francis Manupal. Words can’t express how awesome of an artist you are. I think he may be the perfect person to draw the Flash, he draws movement so well. The one-page spread when Barry is working at home, it shows him doing like 8 things simultaneously, is awesome. He wasn’t able to get 12 issues out a year last year, only about 10, but it is worth it. If he draws 10, and someone like Scott Kolins draws one every once in awhile, I will be a happy guy. Must for next month.

The Fury of Firestorm Nuclear Men

This issue - Jason and Ronnie do not like each other. One is a jock, one is a nerd. One is very smart, and the other…well, I already said he was a jock. We follow their story, as well as another group that is looking for something called the Firestorm Protocol. Wonder what that does? They torture a few people, and manage to track down where it is; placed on the possession of Ronnie They go to the school, and go after Ronnie, who was arguing with Jason at the time. They run for the Firestorm Protocol, and when it is activated, it turns the two into Firestorms. That’s right, Firestorms. It is so crazy and extreme, it might be Firestormz, or Fyre$torrrrrmmzzzoorrsssszzszz.

How it differs - Jason and Ronnie were Firestorm before, but only singular. They shared the same body, and worked together. Well, they were supposed to, they didn’t always work together. Their uniforms are the same, except swapped colors (red and yellow). Firestorm’s uniform was Red before.

Will I read issue #2? I was never a fan of Firestorm. His story-line in Brightest Day was the one that I enjoyed the least, even less than Hawkman’s. The art by Yilidray Cinar is fine, but nothing noteworthy. It was a little interesting, but I don’t think I will be reading next month’s issue.

Voodoo

This issue – Remember when I said that the Catwoman issue was the stereotypical book; gorgeous, well-endowed, scantily-clad women on every page? Well, Voodoo is a stripper, and this whole issue takes place in a strip club… So the Feds are watching Voodoo, and have two partners in the club for surveillance. A man and a woman duo. Guess which one puts in overtime? She leaves, and he gets a private dance in the back from Voodoo. She starts to dance, and he tells her what “they” know. He goes on and on, and when he finally calls her out, she turns into a TOPLESS ALIEN CREATURE that kills him. That’s probably not even the worst thing that has happened in a strip club, sadly.

How it differs - Voodoo was a member of WildC.A.T.S. in the 90’s. When she was created, she did not know she was an alien shapeshifter. She sure does now. Since she was in WildC.A.T.S.. obviously she came from the Wildstorm universe, like Stormwatch. This is the first time she has been in the DC Universe proper, and had her own title.

Will I read issue #2? - Ron Marz is basically the Geoff Johns of Top Cow. I have never read anything of his, I believe, but apparently he is doing some good things over at Top Cow. Sami Basri took over Powergirl from the amazing Amanda Conner, and he did a very good job with it. I really liked this issue, even after getting past the blatant pandering to 18-25 year-old demographic with the strippers. The last scene was interesting, and I will read next month.

Since this is already a week late, I am going to take a week off from reviewing comics. But I will be back for new comics on the 19th, with a fresh review. And rested fingers......Oooowwww...

Final List Of Choices

Yes
Maybe
No
Action Comics
Justice League International
Green Arrow
Animal Man
O.M.A.C.
Hawk & Dove
Batgirl
Static Shock
Men of War
Batwing
Deathstroke
Legion Lost
Detective Comics
Frankenstein
Mister Terrific
Stormwatch
Birds of Prey
Captain Atom
Swamp Thing
Blue Beetle
Legion of Super-Heroes
Batman & Robin
All-Star Western
Blackhawks
Batwoman
I, Vampire
Firestorm
Demon Knights
 
 
Green Lantern
 
 
Grifter
 
 
Red Lanterns
 
 
Resurrection Man
 
 
Suicide Squad
 
 
Batman
 
 
Catwoman
 
 
Deadman
 
 
Green Lantern Corps
 
 
Nightwing
 
 
Red Hood
 
 
Supergirl
 
 
Wonder Woman
 
 
Aquaman
 
 
Batman The Dark Knight
 
 
Green Lantern
 
 
Justice League Dark
 
 
The Savage Hawkman
 
 
Superman
 
 
Teen Titans
 
 
The Flash
 
 
Voodoo
 
 

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3 comments

The Reminder profile image

The Reminder 5 years ago from Canada

Great hub. I have less time to read comic books but this keeps me up to date with them. And...a vampire comic book? mehh...


joawmeens profile image

joawmeens 5 years ago from Hopewell, Ohio Author

See, I did the same thing when I saw it on the list, but I gave it a chance, and....yeah. It wasn't that great of a story, but like I said, the art was epic.

If you like vampires (or liked, before Twilight happened....), check out The Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro (linked above). He is the director of Hellboy and Pan's Labyrinth, and he writes vampires the way they should be: terrifying. They don't glitter in the sunlight, is what I'm saying.

It's 12:30 AM, and I ramble when I am tired. I apologize...


animekid profile image

animekid 5 years ago from Upstate NY

If you really need a good vamp fix, then take a closer look at DC's Vertigo Title American Vampire. I stopped reading the title for a while, but may get back into it with a new story arc as cash will allow. I just finished "All Star Western" and for the price may pick up the second issue. Love Batman The Dark Knight. The story and art are just to die for. I'm just going to say it...not a big fan of the new Superman and will probably not pick up issue 2. Nice hub and I like your list at the end with your fav choices.

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